1. Season Nine
The original last season of The X Files was a 19-episode excuse for its demise. Mulder was missing, again, Scully was lumped with a baby that was the alien chosen one, and most of the show’s writers forgot what an X Files episode was supposed to look like.
2. Season Ten
The first series of the show’s revival wasn’t a complete disaster, just the episodes written by Chris Carter. Carter decided to retcon just about everything, again, with the show’s mythology becoming even more confusing and inessential. There is one episode that was as good as the show at its peak: Darin Morgan’s “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”.
3. Season Seven
The fact that David Duchovny was suing Fox is made clear by the fact that he has mentally checked out of the role of Mulder, except when Vince Gilligan wrote the episode. Season seven was The X Files on fumes, even managing to answer the mystery of Samantha in the most unsatisfying way imaginable.
4. Season Eight
Mulder’s abduction at the end of season seven gave the show an exciting new mystery to solve, and a new partner for Scully in the form of Agent John Doggett. Doggett gave the show a new edge, and the mystery of Scully’s pregnancy was handled expertly by Gillian Anderson, but there are a few duds that stop season eight from being truly great.
5. Season One
The beginning of The X Files was by no means humble. Mulder’s quest for the truth, and Scully’s quest to validate Mulder’s work quickly became one of the most exciting genre shows on TV. Season one has dated considerably (Ghost in the Machine, anyone) but there are some undisputed classics in the form of Ice, Squeeze, and Beyond the Sea.
6. Season Six
As the first season after The X Files movie, season six felt more cinematic while also taking advantage of the show’s more humorous tendencies. Not all fans were a fan of this direction but episodes like Triangle, and the Dreamland two-parter are excellent. Season six is also the last time the mythology made any sense.
7. Season Three
For a huge part of the critical community, and the show’s fanbase, season three is pinnacle X Files. For me, it’s not quite on par with the rest of the show’s golden period, but there are some undeniably great outings: Clyde Buckman’s Final Repose and Jose Chung’s From Outer Space are but two.
8. Season Five
At only 20 episodes long, season five is The X Files at its leanest, meanest, and most hilarious. For much of the season it’s Mulder that is the sceptical one, about aliens, he still believes in everything else, but there is more emphasis on Scully with episodes like Emily, and All Souls.
9. Season Four
Season four of the X Files will give you nightmares. You will see pictures of madness, a man that eats cancerous cells to regrow limbs, Mulder getting experimented on, and the terrifying nature of the Peacock family. Enjoy!
10. Season Two
Season two of The X Files improves the how’s premise in every way. The alien conspiracy grows larger, and the monsters of the week get weirder and much more horrifying. It’s the debut of Mr X, Alex Krychek, and the alien bounty hunter, need I say more?